Dean’s Message

Shaping the World

A Message from USC Price Dean Jack H. Knott

Dean Jack Knott Dean Jack Knott with Vice Dean Elizabeth Graddy, right, and Senior Associate Dean Genevieve Giuliano
Photo by Tom Queally

I would like to first wish everyone a very happy new year and welcome you to our first newsletter of 2012. As we begin a new year, we also enter a new, exciting chapter in our school’s rich and distinguished history. Our school proudly celebrates a $50 million naming gift from the Price Family Charitable Fund to honor the life and legacy of Sol Price, founder of Price Club, and our new name: the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.

This gift reflects a remarkable alignment between Sol Price’s work and the mission of our school. He was both a business and social entrepreneur, transforming the retail industry and social and urban development policies. He understood how the public, private and nonprofit sectors work together to enhance the quality of life for individuals and communities. And, he recognized the great value of an interdisciplinary approach to bring about positive social and economic change. This approach encompassed all the major fields of our school — real estate development, health policy and administration, public policy, urban planning and public administration.

Indeed, it is rare to find a benefactor whose life mission so closely aligns with our school, and we are deeply grateful and honored to be selected to represent his legacy.

I invite you to join me at Lewis Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 7, beginning at 10:30 a.m., for the celebration of the naming gift and endowment from the Price Family Charitable Fund. This is a momentous occasion, and I encourage you to be a part of this very special day in our school’s history. For more information and to RSVP, please click here.

You can read more about this transformational gift and the upcoming celebration in this newsletter.

In addition to this extraordinary milestone, the tremendous work continues throughout our entire school. In this issue, you will find stories illustrating how our faculty, students and alumni address many of today’s most critical issues — spanning across governance, urban development and social policy.

Articles include: leaders from government, business, academia and the media convening at USC to examine California’s energy future; the USC Center for Sustainable Cities hosting its inaugural climate change forum; and a memorial feature on Professor Harry Pachon, who was a celebrated scholar, inspiring educator and true humanitarian.

The Knowledge-in-Action section highlights the election of a USC Price MPP student to a local city council; an undergraduate course that affords students the opportunity to donate $10,000 to deserving Los Angeles-based nonprofits; and a governance seminar analyzing how presidential rhetoric directly impacts the War on Drugs.

The Global Reach section features a CREATE lecture – titled “From Bin Laden to Facebook” – by journalist Maria Ressa, former CNN bureau chief in Manila and Jakarta, who explained how the “jihadi virus” has spread through different societies and geographic locations.

Also in this issue, you can read about recent studies by our faculty and students published leading journals such as Social Science & Medicine, the Journal of Urban History and Health Affairs.

This month, our newsletter covers two events organized by USC Price student associations

I also invite you to read our Alumni Spotlight on Courtney Silver, a recent graduate of the real estate development track of our school’s undergraduate program. She is currently working for Freddie Mac as a production analyst in the multifamily division.

In addition, our faculty are much sought-after experts in their respective fields. They are frequently cited by national media outlets like the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and NPR — and this month’s USC Price Making the News section demonstrates just a few examples.

This edition of the newsletter also features videos on two recent seminars. One focuses on the Cal-Adapt web application, developed to showcase the wealth of innovative climate change research being produced by the scientific community in California; and the other provides an introduction to the LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System, which explores the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building.

Indeed, given all that we have accomplished together – and all that we can achieve going forward – I am filled with optimism about this new year and about our bright future at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. With this profound gift, I have every confidence that our school can build upon its brilliant past and reach its fullest potential — touching lives, improving communities, and shaping our world for the better.


Jack H. Knott
C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Dean and Professor
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy